When it comes to food, London is a melange of flavors, places to go and different styles. Whatever food is your favorite, you’re bound to find something that suits your palate in the Big Smoke.
Of course, the UK is famous for serving traditional afternoon tea, and one of my favorite places to have it is Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London in the Knightsbridge neighborhood. Here, you can expect exquisite sandwiches, scones and pastries with a slight Asian twist, quite fitting with the hotel’s Oriental style. The Rosebery Lounge, where the afternoon tea takes place, is beautifully decorated with elegant lime-green soft furnishings and classic Asian accents.
I absolutely love Blixen, a small garden-themed restaurant in the Spitalfields neighborhood. The restaurant itself is gorgeous, and you feel like you’re in a beautiful conservatory or outdoors, even when it’s cold outside. Brunch choices vary from the classic full English breakfast to less-traditional baked eggs and confit duck.
London is a great place to find fresh and perfectly prepared sushi. High-end places come with a big price tag, but for a more local and reasonably priced place, I would suggest Koji in Parsons Green. I loved the dim sum and summer rolls, but the cocktails and desserts are unmissable too. By night a DJ entertains and the party atmosphere begins, turning the restaurant into one of the liveliest places in the area. Koji is definitely worth staying for if London is an embarkation or debarkation port for your cruise.
Rabbit in Chelsea is a great place to try the best of British produce that’s straight from farm to fork. A selection of small plates to share is the ideal option here, and you can choose from their cured, slow-cooking selection or fast cooking. Whatever you choose, you can guarantee that the food will taste good and look stunning. The restaurant itself has a rustic, barnyard feel with plenty of light coming through the picture windows, making it the perfect casual-dining destination.
Mr. Fogg’s Tavern is a fun and lively pub and gin parlour in Covent Garden. My favorite part is the more chilled-out upstairs salon, decked out in collectibles from the adventures of the eponymous Mr. Fogg. Drinks reflect his travels too, and the most popular is the highly potent Trans-Siberian Express, a Champagne and vodka cocktail.
There’s been a huge surge in Peruvian restaurants in London recently, and there are some excellent ones serving ceviche and pisco sours. My favorite is Coya in Mayfair, which has a fantastically lively atmosphere, serves delicious food and features a pisco bar specializing in custom made pisco infusions. I’d recommend sharing a selection of small plates, such as ceviche, tiradito and anticuchos; and the tacos are tasty with their unique combination of ingredients.
For incredible uninterrupted views across London I’d suggest a visit to Vista at The Trafalgar hotel. Located on the corner of London’s iconic Trafalgar Square, from the terrace you can see Nelson’s Column, the London Eye, the Royal Opera House and Horse Guards Parade. There are plenty of classic cocktails, but you may prefer to enjoy the view with a simple glass of Champagne. And if it rains, umbrellas are provided. Brilliant!
There’s big competition for the best steak in London, but I think that the prize goes to Hawksmoor. There are six locations of Hawksmoor in London (all with names that reflect the street or neighborhood they’re in), and my favorite is Air Street, which serves a large selection of seafood as well as steak.
The owners of Hawksmoor traveled the world before discovering that the best steak actually comes from Britain, and they only use beef produced with traditional methods in order to achieve world-class quality. The seafood served by Hawksmoor is sourced directly from Devon, ensuring that the fish maintains the same standards as the meat.
Peggy Porschen Cakes produces the world’s best cupcakes … no exaggeration. Choose from Champagne and strawberry flavor, vanilla, banoffee, red velvet and more, or opt for their award-winning chocolate salted caramel. There are also layer cakes and other confections and baking essentials; they even have their own cake academy across the road. Seating is limited, but you can get a few cupcakes to go and enjoy the pretty boutiques and artisan shops of Belgravia.